About those thuggish teens

October 12, 2009 at 10:14 am | Posted in Education | 1 Comment

You might well have seen this already, but last week’s Guardian ran a survey of the attitudes of teenage boys and found that, in spite of the caricature, our young lads happen to be ambitious & mostly happy in their school/family/social lives. 

What did shock me, however, was seeing the extent to which this caricature dominates the media being proven with numbers:

In the survey, conducted by Echo, 78% of teenage boys said adults had a higher opinion of teenage girls than boys. An Echo survey earlier this year, commissioned by Women in Journalism, examined the language used to describe teenage boys in the media. The most common word was “yobs” (which appeared 591 times over a year), followed by thugs (254 times), sick (119), feral (96) and hoodie (60). More than 60% of the stories about teenage boys concerned crime, and 90% of these showed them in a bad light. Boys interviewed by the Guardian for a report in tomorrow’s Weekend magazine said they felt demonised by press and politicians.

Is there any wonder?


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  1. I thought all the boys interviewed by the Guardian came across as sound, they all seemed really good-natured and sweet. Similar to the characters in ‘the Inbetweeners’, I thought, a bit bewildered by girls and school and parents but making the best of it that they can.

    It’s no surprise that the newspapers go for the obvious stories though, is it? Ever since the idea of ‘the teenager’ was invented, there’s been a ‘teen menace’:


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